Construction occurs in areas other than metropolitan centers. With urban sprawl, construction is moving more and more to the “greenfields”, areas not previously developed. More than ever before, this puts more and more construction workers at risk of injury due to a hunting accident.
A recent study indicated there are 13 million hunters over the age of 16 in the United States, many of whom are deer hunters, and as many as 12 million use rifles, shotguns or handguns for hunting.
As the weather cools, deer seasons are opening all over the US. The first season is always bow season, followed by black powder and then rifle or shotgun. Bow season does not particularly lead to many hunting accidents as the range of the bow is limited, and the quarry has to be very close to take a shot.
This is not the case when gun season arrives. High powered rifles, often used in deer hunting, are particularly concerning with regard to accidents. Extremely long shots can be taken and some hunters are too quick to pull the trigger before completely identifying the target. In fact, in 2018, almost 1000 people in Canada and the US were accidentally shot by hunters.
Safety Tips During Hunting Season:
- Know the hunting rules for the state you’re in. Know what seasons are in and act accordingly.
- Always be aware of your surroundings when entering a wooded area during hunting season. Look for signs of hunters, including vehicles, hunting stands and any other signs that may indicate the area is hunted.
- Always wear bright colored clothing (shirts, jackets and hats). Hunter’s Orange is the best. All hunters are required to wear orange so most hunters are on the lookout for this. Orange vests are sold at every Walmart and most other stores with a sporting goods section;
- Make noise as you move through wooded areas. Talk loudly, ring a bell or whistle if necessary.
- Most deer hunting occurs in the early morning hours and late afternoon/evening. In the early morning and late afternoons, carry a flashlight. Do not get caught walking at dusk or dawn in a wooded or open area without a light. This is the time of day that most accidents happen. Hunters struggle to see so let them know you are there.
- Never confront an armed hunter in the woods, especially a trespasser. Hunters often go to the same areas and some do not even know properties have been sold or are being developed. Avoid the confrontation. Back out and call your local law enforcement agency.
- Prior to development, always mark a new development with no hunting/trespassing and signage indicating the property is being developed and construction is occurring.
Do these simple things and stay safe when working in areas that could contain hunters!